4th Jun 2020
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Christopher de Souza
MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
Question No. 1729
To ask the Minister for Health how is Singapore collaborating with the global scientific community to create a COVID-19 vaccine.
1. The global scientific community is focusing efforts on research and development of an effective vaccine against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Singapore has been contributing to these efforts.
2. The Duke-NUS Medical School has partnered with the US-based Arcturus Therapeutics in the development of a vaccine. The school supports the pre-clinical studies by conducting rapid screening of vaccine candidates for effectiveness and safety, as well as by conducting animal trials.
3. Local doctors and researchers have also engaged academic groups and vaccine companies from Europe, North America, Australia and China, on participation in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine. For example, the Duke-NUS Medical School has partnered with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) on a clinical trial which involves monitoring of side effects and immune response of trial vaccines among healthy individuals. Singapore has also registered as a trial site for the World Health Organisation’s multi-country Solidarity Vaccine Trials.
4. Apart from vaccine development, Singapore has also been involved in the research and development of therapeutics to improve the treatment of COVID-19 patients. For example, the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and public hospitals are participating in multi-national clinical trials involving the experimental drug, remdesivir, which has shown to improve the recovery of COVID-19 patients in some studies.